Ekinoid: computer rendering.

The Ekinoid Project: Goals

  • Designing the Ekinoid home in such a (bolt-together, colour-coded) way that it can be built onsite by cooperating individuals: You build your own home; you help others build theirs.
  • That an Ekinoid home can be completely constructed within one week.
  • The Ekinoid home should be suitable for many different environments (grazing land, reclaimed land, marginal land, moorland, desert, tundra, bush, flood plains etc.).
  • With the average two-bedroom house in the UK weighing 152 tonnes* there is a global need for a (modular) house of similar size and robustness which weighs far less and therefore uses far less materials: The goal for the Ekinoid home is that they should each come in under 20 tonnes (excluding supporting columns, stairwell, white goods, exterior water tanks etc.).
  • A spherical surface, being composed of compound curves, is inherently more difficult to design for than a flat surface. However, we think the simple solution to this difficulty is to use materials that are flexible, pliant and non-load bearing, rather than rigid and load bearing. What we intend is for flexible skins to be applied to a light, extremely strong, load-bearing frame. This principle will extend to insulation as well as to internal and external skins.
  • Our goal is to make individual Ekinoids not only fully energy self-sustaining but also putting excess electricity into a local grid: via the use of a VAWT (Vertical Axis Wind Turbine) (on the roof) and/or by extensive use of solar panels.
  • By using the stairwell as a multi-level hydroponic greenhouse (using gravity-fed water from roof runoff: it is estimated the average UK house roof, for example, can capture 24,000 litres of rainwater annually) each family should aim to be fully self-sufficient for basic vegetable foodstuffs.
  • All the land beneath each Ekinoid home is accessible (and sheltered). This would present a variety of uses for each family, parking, storage, gardening, rearing livestock etc., - and it would be entirely possible to attach panels via the three columns to dramatically extend enclosed space for each home.


"In 2003, SEI undertook an analysis of four different household categories (Wiedmann et al, 2003). This analysis calculated that the average weight of a new home in the UK was 117 tonnes. Taking into account the issues listed above, it is estimated that 152 tonnes of materials (PDF file; page 8: 269kb in size) are required to build the average home in the UK. According to the English Housing Conditions Survey, produced by the DCLG, the average floor space of a new house is 85.5 m2. This is marginally higher than the average in the UK, approximately 82 m2. Therefore, providing one m2 of floor space for an on-site site house requires 1.8 tonnes of materials."